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Slow cooker General Tso’s chicken is a super easy version of everyone’s favorite Chinese entree! Crispy chicken cooked in a sweet and savory sauce with a little added heat. This is way better than takeout!
Asian-inspired recipes work great in the slow cooker. It results in tender meat but also gives time for the meat to soak up the flavorful sauces. Make this slow cooker cashew chicken, my Mongolian beef, or this Kung Pao chicken. The flavors just explode because of the long slow simmer.
General Tso’s Chicken
We love Asian-inspired meals at our house, and this slow-cooker version of General Tso’s chicken is a must! Even better, it’s easy to put together and the slow cooker does all the work. The chicken is crispy on the outside but tender on the inside thanks to the magic of the slow cooker. The sauce slowly cooks and absorbs into the crispy chicken perfectly. I love being able to make better-than-takeout recipes right at home! If you make this for your family I promise that everyone will devour it!
The rich and dark sauce in this meal is incredible. It is sweet and savory with just a little bit of heat. I always have to hold out the red pepper flakes until the end just for my kiddos, but it has such incredible flavor. Make this meal complete by serving the chicken and sauce over rice. I also love to serve it with vegetable stirfry and a side of these easy cream cheese wontons. I know this is a meal that your family will love and you’ll want to make it again and again.
Ingredients For the Best General Tso’s Chicken
Simple ingredients that combine to create magic in the slow cooker. You are going to love this easy way of making your favorite Asian-inspired meals. Follow the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Chicken Breasts: Skinless boneless chicken cut into one-inch cubes.
- Cornstarch: This will create that crispy outside.
- Vegetable Oil: To fry the chicken before slow cooking.
- Hoisin Sauce: This sweet and salty sauce can be found in the Asian aisle with soy sauce, and other Asian sauces.
- Soy Sauce: Use regular or low-sodium with great results.
- Brown Sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness to combat the heat.
- Garlic: A necessary ingredient for this incredible chicken.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Adds that bit of zing that’s awesome.
- Sesame oil: Adds intense flavor.
- Dry Ginger: Blends easily and has just the right amount of flavor and heat.
- Crushed Red Pepper: This brings the heat. Leave it out or use extra for more spice!
- Green Onions, Sesame Seeds, Additional Red Pepper Flakes: These are all optional but all worth the extra effort to have them ready to go.
Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Start by adding a simple breading to the outside, then pan fry the edges for just a few minutes. This is an extra step, but you will love the crispy edges. The chicken has a tender and juicy center by doing this extra step. If you want to just dump the chicken in with the sauce and let it do its thing, I have a tip for thickening the sauce in the tip section.
- Coat the Chicken: In a mixing bowl add the chicken and cornstarch. Toss until the chicken is completely coated in the cornstarch.
- Brown the Chicken: In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat add oil and cook until the chicken is slightly brown but not cooked throughout. Put in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Make the Sauce: In a small mixing bowl whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Pour on top of the chicken into the slow cooker.
- Cook: Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked throughout.
- Serve: Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes if desired.
Tips for Tender and Juicy Chicken
This is truly one of my all-time favorite Asian-inspired recipes. I also love my along with sweet and sour chicken and this honey sesame chicken. Any type of breaded chicken with a sauce is right up my alley! Here are some tips to get tender and juicy chicken when it has a coating.
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Be sure to cut them all the same size so they’ll cook evenly.
- Coating: It’s true you don’t have to pre-brown them in the oil with the cornstarch, but the extra crispiness and coating make it more like a restaurant. Plus it just tastes so much better. If you choose not to do this step. Be sure to check the notes for how to thicken the sauce.
- Alternative to Browning the Chicken: If you are cooking the chicken without browning in the skillet first when the chicken is finished cooking, remove the chicken and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the sauce. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Chicken could also take longer to cook, closer to 4 hours.
How to Store Easy General Tso’s Chicken
The best part of eating out at Asian-inspired restaurants is the leftovers! There’s just something about warming up leftovers the next day because it tastes SO much better. Now you have lunch the next day with this slow cooker General Tso’s chicken recipe. Follow my tips below!
- In the Refrigerator: Keep for up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- In the Freezer: In an airtight freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm on the stove in a skillet or microwave.
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Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to liking
- optional garnish green onions, sesame seeds, additional red pepper flakes
- Combine the chicken and cornstarch in a bowl or plastic bag. Toss until the chicken is completely coated in the cornstarch.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and crushed red pepper. Pour on top of chicken in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked throughout. *see note
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.